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Democratic Party of Kosovo

The Democratic Party of Kosovo (Albanian: Partia Demokratike e Kosovës; abbr. PDK) is one of the two largest political parties in Kosovo, alongside its rival, the Democratic League of Kosovo. It was originally a social-democratic party coming out of demilitarized KLA after the war, with most of the leadership coming from Albanian nationalists and former members of PMK. However, during its congress in January 2013, it positioned itself as a center-right party.[2][3]

Democratic Party of Kosovo

Partia Demokratike e Kosovës
LeaderKadri Veseli
Founded27 October 1999; 20 years ago (1999-10-27)
HeadquartersPristina, Kosovo
IdeologyNationalism
Economic liberalism
Big tent[1]
Political positionCentre-right[2][3] (self-proclaimed)
European affiliationAlliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe[4]
International affiliationNone
ColoursSky blue
Assembly
25 / 120
Mayors
5 / 38
Municipal councils
215 / 994
Website
www.pdk.info

It is headed by Kadri Veseli, a leader of the former Kosovo Liberation Army and SHIK. The first post-war Prime Minister of Kosovo, Bajram Rexhepi, belongs to the Democratic Party of Kosovo.

HistoryEdit

The party was founded on 14 May 1999 from the political wing of the Kosovo Liberation Army as the Party for the Democratic Progress of Kosovo (Partia për Progres Demokratik e Kosovës), but was renamed on 21 May 2000. The party has increased in size and regional scope, initially winning the elections of 2007 and winning most of the regional elections in the municipal elections of 2009. PDK renewed its governing mandate after winning the elections of 2010.[5]

Members of the Party for the Democratic Progress of Kosovo were blacklisted[by whom?] in 2001.[6][7]

In the 2004 legislative elections, the party won 28.9% of the popular vote and 30 out of 120 seats in the Assembly of Kosovo; in 2007 PDK won a majority for the first time with 35% of the vote. In 2010's disputed elections, PDK won again with 32% of the vote.

After 14 years of leadership of Hashim Thaçi who had to resign from party leadership to take the position of the President of the country, in May 2016, Parliament Speaker Kadri Veseli became party president by acclamation. He was elected with no votes against and no abstentions.[8]

Elections in 2010Edit

Parliamentary elections were held on 12 December 2010, the first such elections organized by Kosovans since their declaration of independence. After early results, Hashim Thaçi, who was on course to gain 32 per cent of the vote, claimed victory for PDK, the Democratic Party of Kosovo. He said he intended to continue governing for another 4 years. After accusations of vote-rigging, voting was repeated in several municipalities. With more than 30 per cent of the vote, Thaçi formed a coalition with the New Kosovo Alliance (AKR), led by the ex-president, Behgjet Pacolli. It was in fourth place with 8 percent of the vote.

The turnout at the election was significantly higher than usual, augmented by Serbs who decided to vote in the disputed republic.[9] Following the confirmation of the final election results, PDK and AKR formed a government with a program dedicated to EU integrations. The new government included many of the younger generation of PDK members, such as Bedri Hamza, Memli Krasniqi, Vlora Çitaku, Blerand Stavileci, Petrit Selimi, etc.

Abuse of power (Pronto Clan)Edit

Key figures in the underground Kosovo Intelligence Service close to PDK accused of executing political opponents in LDK, were current Speaker of Parliament, Kadri Veseli, and MPs Elmi Reçica, Fadil Demaku and former MPs Fatmir Xhelili and Latif Gashi.[10] MPs Rrustem Mustafa and Latif Gashi resigned their offices in 2015 after receiving confirmed sentenced for war crimes.[11] In April 2016, PDK MP Azem Syla was sought for arrest in connection to a large criminal group which appropriated socially owned property located in Prishtina’s suburbs amounting 30 million EUR.[12]

Seven out of 10 current mayors belonging to the PDK are suspected, have been charged or convicted of abuse of office and other criminal activity. Sami Lushtaku of Skenderaj has been sentenced to 12 years for war crimes while he is currently being investigated for a corruption case. He ran for mayoral reelections and is serving in office both from prison. Nexhat Demaku of Drenas has been sentenced to one year and is being investigated in another case. Salim Jenuzi of Dragash was charged but found not guilty. Bajram Mulaku of Vushtrria and Begzad Sinani of Kamenica were investigated but not charged. Sinani is again under investigation for alleged illegal hunting. Former Lipjan mayor Shukri Buja was sentenced to 4 months suspended imprisonment for not declaring property to the Anti-Corruption agency, while Vitia Mayor Nexhmedin Arifi to 18 months suspended imprisonment for misuse of official position.[13] Xhabir Zharku of Kaçanik was convicted to three years in prison for threats related to a privatisation case and illegal possession of a firearm forcing him to resign his position but was allowed to escape to Sweden where he now lives.[14] Ramadan Muja of Prizren was convicted by a court of first instance. The case has been returned to retrial meanwhile Muja has run for and won a second term as mayor.[15] Former Ferizaj Mayor Bajrush Xhemajli started serving a two-year sentence in 2014 after being convicted for killing a person in a traffic accident in 2009.[16] The prosecution also investigated the former mayor of Gjilan Qemal Mustafa for road tenders but did not file charges. Sokol Bashota of Klina was being investigated for abuse of office in 2016.[13]

In 2000 the brother of PDK leader Hashim Thaçi Gani Thaçi was found during a raid in Prishtina with a million German marks (500,000 euros) in cash. The origin of the money was uncertain.[17]

Former Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi was in office when about 1.5 million euros were embezzled is a case related to the production of passports by an Austrian company. Later about 200,000 of them were discovered in a chauffeur of Kadri Veseli.[18]

Adem Grabovci, leader of PDK parliamentary group, was involved in the "Pronto" scandal, a leak of audio recordings of an EULEX investigation, in which Adem Grabovci, Hashim Thaçi and Vlora Çitaku discuss employment of an uncle of Grabovci, Curr Gjoci. Shortly afterwards, Gjoci was appointed Director of the University Clinical Centre in Prishtina. In another scandal Grabovci's sons beat several police officers. They were sentenced to a prison sentence of six months which converted to 3,000 EUR fine each.[19]

Election resultsEdit

Year Votes % Seats Position +/– Government
2001 202,622 25.7%
26 / 120
2nd 26 Coalition
2004 199,112 28.3%
30 / 120
  2nd   4 Opposition
2007 196,207 34.3%
37 / 120
  1st   7 Coalition
2010 224,339 32.1%
34 / 120
  1st   3 Coalition
2014 222,181 30.4%
37 / 120
  1st   3 Coalition
2017 Part of the PAN Coalition
23 / 120
  3rd   14 Coalition
2019 178,645 21.16%
25 / 120
  3rd   2 Opposition
  1. ^ Qorri, Fjolla, "The Psychology behind Voting Behavior in Kosovo" (2018). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from https://scholarworks.rit.edu/theses/9813
  2. ^ a b PDK profilizohet si parti e Qendrës së Djathtë (DPK positions itself as a center-right party) (in Albanian), Gazeta Express, 27 January 2013
  3. ^ a b PDK, parti e qendrës së djathtë (DPK, a centre-right party) (in Albanian), Koha TV, 2013-01-27
  4. ^ http://www.acreurope.eu/our_family#parties
  5. ^ dDH's 'Hope'; Kosova Crisis 2000; BPT-Reports: Monthly report # 15
  6. ^ Wikisource:Executive Order 13219
  7. ^ http://fedbbs.access.gpo.gov/library/fac_bro/balkans.txt
  8. ^ Matoshi, Albatrit (7 May 2016). "Kadri Velseli kryetar i ri i PDK-së". Zëri. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  9. ^ Agencies: "Ex-guerrilla chief claims victory in Kosovo election", Euractiv.
  10. ^ "Kadri Veseli: Ja kush ishte pjesë e SHIK-ut". Bota Sot. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Edhe Rrustem Mustafa dorëzon mandatin e deputetit". Telegrafi.com. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Police raids the home of former KLA leader and MP Azem Syla". Prishtina Insight. BIRN Kosovo. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  13. ^ a b "Pak nga kryetarët e komunave që udhëhiqen nga PDK-ja nuk e shkelën ligjin". KOHAnet. KOHA. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  14. ^ "Përpëlitjet e Xhabirit". Gazeta Express. MediaWorks. 19 October 2012. Archived from the original on 8 February 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  15. ^ Kryeziu, Petrit (24 December 2015). "Supremja Kthen në Apel Vendimin për Ramadan Mujën". Kallxo. BIRN. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  16. ^ "Bajrush Xhemajli shkon në vuajtje të dënimit me burg". Telegrafi.com. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  17. ^ Mappes-Niediek, Norbert (29 November 2001). "Wundersamer Waschsalon". Die Ziet (49/2001). Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  18. ^ Wölfl, Adelheid (14 January 2013). "Neuer Anlauf für Kosovo-Pässe". Der Standard. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  19. ^ "Dënohen djemtë e Adem Grabovcit". Telegrafi.com. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2016.